Orlando Accident Attorney

Call Now!

What you need to know about Cruise Ships and Lost or Damaged Luggage



Every year, millions of people board cruise ships to travel abroad and visit new places. With the large influx of people getting back to cruising and setting sail after coronavirus, there are bound to be many maritime tort injuries. Maritime tort injuries can include operational incidents, such as food poisoning or bacterial infection from undercooked or processed foods that have not been stored properly or may be expired. There are also claims such as sexual assault, battery, and slip and falls. However, one of the most commonly filed claims against cruise liners is lost or damaged luggage.

Lost or Damaged Luggage

In a claim for recovery of lost or damaged luggage, the plaintiff needs to know how to navigate the procedure for filing a claim against the cruise liner. According to the ticket contract that you purchase for your journey abroad, there usually is a dollar limitation provided explicitly on the ticket contract for the value of a dollar amount of your luggage. The limitations on the ticket contract of a cruise liner for this value amount has been upheld by the courts. (Cohn v. United States Lines Co, 84 F.Supp. 503 (D. N.J. 1949). The standard or typical dollar amount that has been approved and upheld by many courts is a $100.00 limit for clothing. If your clothing is a value amount higher than that, then you will need to file a formal complaint or a claim against the cruise liner in order to recover your damages. However, upon entering the cruise liner for your cruise, in most cases, you consent to the terms of the agreement purchased from the ticket. If you were to file a claim, you will need to know the proper process to gain a recovery. 

Procedure of Filing a Claim Against a Cruise Liner

Procedurally, filing a claim against a cruise liner is typically a rather difficult process. First, you have to file your lawsuit at the cruise liner’s headquarters[1]. This could be rather difficult for out-of-state residents, as most of the cruise liners are based out of the Port of Miami.  The Port of Miami is located very close to the United States District Courthouse where injured parties must file almost all claims[2].  In the past, the courts have held that bringing a case in this specific venue provides for an expeditious process when adjudicating cruise line cases. For example, in Wiggins v. Carnival, plaintiffs argued that sufficient notice was not given, but the court found in favor of the cruise liner and rejected the idea that it was fundamentally unfair (United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division. 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18235). Later in Valenti v. Norwegian, the courts determined that federal maritime law would govern as the basis for the substantive law in determining venue (United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6811). All of this is to say that navigating the procedure to filing a claim against a cruise liner for your damaged or lost luggage to recover the full amount of the items that you had in the baggage, is a difficult process. 

Orlando Accident Attorney

Here at the Orlando Accident Attorney, we are experienced attorneys that handle cruise ship litigations and maritime law cases. If you or a loved one have been injured on a cruise ship, please give us a call here at 407-706-3909.

Date: Sept 9, 2022 

Author: Brandon Salter

[1] https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/plaintiffs-attorneys-suing-cruise-lines-must-navigate-a-boatload-of-challenges-unique-to-the-industry

[2] https://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/plaintiffs-attorneys-suing-cruise-lines-must-navigate-a-boatload-of-challenges-unique-to-the-industry